Let’s tell the folks what we’ve won…A new car! Just kidding. What we’ve won is way better than a new car. Even better than a fully loaded, tricked out Mercedes. Even better than an orange and black Cadillac.
Because San Francisco Giants fans, we are getting a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award winning, All∗Star playing shortstop–the best in the bigs, ladies and gentlemen–with a full no-trade clause: we are getting Brandon Crawford. For the next six years.
I know he’s not new, it’s not like we’re just getting him–he’s been a Giant his whole career, and the news has been out for a whole day now, so I’m sure many of you have already heard. I couldn’t help myself though—it’s such good news, I had to write about it.
Let’s face it, one of the things that makes this signing so special: Crawford is a home grown Giant–he started his career in our minor league system before coming to the show in 2011. Even before that Crawford–just like most of us–started out as a life-long Giants fan. How cool is that? How many big-leaguers out there were drafted by their hometown team, made it to the bigs and ended up signing a long-term contract? I’m sure there’s a few, but it’s a rare, fair breeed. And how many have a picture like the one we have of Brandon Crawford taking on The Man when the front office proposed moving the team away from San Francisco?
Crawford was born January 21, 1987 in Mountain View and grew up in Pleasanton where he attended Foothills High. He went to UCLA where he played…what else? Baseball! He was named the Bruins MVP in 2006 and 2007 and made the All-Pac-10 conference team in 2007. He was drafted by the Giants in the 2008 MLB Draft in the 4th round (117th overall).
Crawford made his major league debut in Milwaukee against the Brewers on May 27, 2011. I will never forget that night. I was anxious to see what kind of stuff the new kid had. He was unimpressive in his first two at-bats: he lined out in the third and hit into a double play in the fifth. When he came up to bat in the seventh the score was Brewers 3, Giants 1. The bases were loaded: Aubrey Huff led-off with a double, Nate Schierholtz followed with a single and Miguel Tejada drew a walk. And the rookie let ‘er rip–and hit the big salami.
And that’s how Brandon Crawford introduced himself to Giants fans. Not a bad way to start a career, huh?
This past season, Crawford teamed up with rookie second baseman Joe Panik and together they’ve become the deadly, double-play dealing duo known as Crawnik. They took their show on the road when they went–both of them for the first time–to the All∗Star game this past summer. It was the first time the Giants have sent a double play combo to the Mid-Summer Classic since the days of Rich Aurilia and Jeff Kent in 2001.
Crawford has been steadily and consistently improving each season. Joseph Zucker reported in a post in The Bleacher Report that Crawford’s 2015 season was a career year–his batting average was .256, with 21 homeruns and 84 RBI. Zucker said according to FanGraphs Crawford’s WAR is 4.7–the third biggest on the Giants and number 1 for MLB shortstops. Yeah, he’s that good.
Giant congrats to a Giant-for-life, he’s one of us–always has been, always will be. After all…